Sunday, December 18, 2011

Turkey Sammy

Sometimes, when I'm lucky, my dad will pick me up a jar of garlic mustard from a winery at the coast. The stuff is to die for. Simply put. Ever since I got my latest jar, I've been dreeeeeaming of putting it on a turkey sandwich. I don't usually MAKE sandwiches, because a loaf of bread in my house will last....about a day. Which is bad.

But today was the day. I bought a small loaf of fresh sourdough, and LeGreg and I went to work.

In order:
  • sourdough
  • hippie soy cheese
  • very thinly sliced red onion
  • sprouts
  • turkey
  • garlic mustard
I slathered on a little Earth Balance non dairy butter and cooked in a frying pan, med heat, on both sides until golden brown and the cheese had melted.

I LOVE sprouts...and everything else in this. So so good. I ate two sandwiches. Oops!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Party Bark

AKA cake batter chocolate bark.

The chick at How Sweet It Is makes me get fat just LOOKING at her posts. They always look SO amazing. I saw this one and immediately thought "OMG PARTY BARK!!!". The colors just screamed "I'm a good time". Mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as her did. Prooooobably because I sorta ignored that whole "high quality chocolate" part and just got some white and dark chips from Trader Joes. I figured I'd get the cheapy stuff my first go round in case I totally biffed. Which is never unexpected. Judging by her pics, the higher quality stuff is a) thinner when melted and b) the white chocolate is WHITE. Meh. Whatevs. Next time.

Cake Batter Chocolate Bark
6 ounces high quality dark chocolate (she used Lindt 70%)

12 ounces high quality white chocolate (she used Lindt)

3 teaspoons yellow cake mix (I used white. Couldnt remember what kind I was supposed to get! I bet the confetti cake mix would be pretty fun, too)

sprinkles of your choice (at least 3 tablespoons worth or more) (the grocery store had pretty crap selection for me! I'll be on the hunt for more fun stuff...)

Melt dark chocolate either in the microwave or a double boiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour chocolate on. You can smooth it with a spatula to the thickness you desire. Stick in the freeze for 20 minutes.

Melt while chocolate. Whisk in cake mix slowly, stirring well until no lumps remain. Let it set for 3 full minutes (or at least until it slightly thickens). Remove baking sheet with chocolate from the freezer and immediately pour white chocolate on top. Sprinkle on sprinkles. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Once set, break into chunks. Keep refrigerated.

While mine won't be winning any style awards just yet, this was about as simple as it gets! There were some neon dinosaur sprinkles in my little variety pack that I'm pretty stoked to try out next. I love the endless possibilities for decorating against a "white" background. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can't BELIEVE I never blogged about these. (Picture from the linked Becky Bakes blog!).

Should you ever need a "stop everyone in their tracks and instantly become the belle of the ball" treat to bring somewhere, these are your guys.

Holy crap.

Words can hardly explain.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from the fantabulous Jenny of Picky Palate

2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 pkg. Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo cookie (not that I was even using a scoop, but I smooshed a small ball flat in my hand, sat an oreo on it, put another smooshed cookie dough and sealed up the edges. If you use too much cookie dough, they turn out MONSTROUS) .  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE cookies.

GAH! So amazing.

Becky also has a recipe for Nutter Butter stuffed chocolate cookies, but I haven't tried them  yet. I'm worried that once I do I will never eat anything else in my entire life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

I stumbled across this little gem on Becky Bakes. Most of her recipes are for baking delicious looking/sounding things that I'll probably never actually get around to baking. Because I have less than zero self control and will eat  ALL of what I bake.

Anyway, so she posted this and it looked great and LeGreg and I were on to make dinner for his parents. Done and done.

  • 2 lbs. hamburger (we used lean turkey meat)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacer)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking pans with foil. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place on foil-lined pans. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Place meatballs in serving bowl and pour cranberry barbecue sauce over them.  Stir to coat. These are delicious with mashed potatoes!
Cranberry Barbecue Sauce ~ In a medium saucepan heat together 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce and 1 bottle (16oz) of your favorite barbecue sauce, stirring occasionally.
Easy! Now, I just grabbed a bottle of bbq sauce and chucked the whole thing in. Only after doing a taste test and it tasting REALLY bbq-y and NOT very cranberry-y, I actually checked the size of it. 28 oz. Oops. Aaaaand that's what puts the crappy in Crappy Cook, y'all. It was still super good, though. The meatballs were easy and really really moist. The sauce doesn't get any easier, and we served it over brown rice. Will most definitely pull this one out again!

If you want to find yourself licking your computer screen on a regular basis, I suggest checking out Becky Bakes on your own.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

I made this cranberry sauce last year for Thanksgiving and it was LEGIT. I went to look up the recipe to make it again this year and apparently I didn't blog about it?!?! What the WHAT?! Sometimes I fail myself.


  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice


In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.  
I mean...seriously? Does it GET easier than that?! No. No it does not. I'm far from opposed to can-shaped cranberry jello, but this one takes the cake. And sounds fancy. You could be all "Oh, this? It's homemade cranberry sauce. I made it at home and it's fancy", when it actually only took you 3 ingredients and 10 mins. I doubled the recipe last time and it made a TON. We had....12 people? -ish? I probably didn't need to double it, but the leftovers were great on...everything. All the things. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Fluff

Nicole found this recipe here. That guy found the recipe at . I love that site.

She sent an email to me with the title: will your guts please approve a nearly plastic dairy-like substance?!?

Stupid lactose intolerance.

I said, "bring it".


  • 1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving. 

This took her approximately 35 secs to make. Served with cinnamon (maybe hers were regular....can't remember) graham crackers as the dipping mechanism, this was REALLY good. Really really good. Four of us had our faces about 2 inches from that bowl, shoveling bite after bite in, for a solid 15 mins.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding (Parfait)

(The original recipe is for a parfait, but I can't be trusted with cookies or other topping-like things in my house).

The linked blog, Oh She Glows, adds chia seeds to all kinds of smoothies and puddings and stuff. I didn't really think much of it, assuming it was the new acai trendy superfood or something. 

But then chia seeds were mentioned in the rad book I'm reading and they're the secret wonderfood of the ancient runners or whatever. Even after having used it a bit, I'm not convinced that I'm a better human being because of it, but who knows! Maybe I don't use it often or consistently enough.

Enter two things I'm interested in right now: pumpkin and chia.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

A healthier alternative to a delicious pumpkin pie filling! Feel free to play around with the ingredients to suit your taste buds. (her notes, not mine)

Yield: 2 servings or 1 & 3/4 cups
  • 3/4-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin, chilled if possible
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder, optional
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste (I have pumpkin syrup, so I use that instead)

1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined and no clumpy bits remain.
2. Place bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight, to thicken and chill.
3. Serve with raisins, walnuts, or crushed ginger cookies if desired.

So, chia seeds swell up, kind of like tapioca, when they're in liquid. Put too much in, they get slimy. I follow this recipe pretty closely (no protein powder because I don't have any, sub pumpkin pie spice for ginger & nutmeg, no toppings), and find the texture just fine. It's only a little sweet, a lot healthy, SUPER pumpkin-y, and seriously takes about 45 secs to whip together. I've had it as my afternoon "sweet" snack at work almost every day. Lovin it. 

Monday, October 17, 2011


Threw together a tasty one today, so I thought I'd share.

Friday night, LeGreg and I celebrated a friends new job. We started off decent, making chicken and steak fajitas (with sauteed sweet potato, SO GOOD). But then we drank all the beer in the world and ate a giant off the shelf pizza from the grocery store at 1am and then immediately went to bed.

I have felt better in my life than I did on Saturday morning. Let's just say that.

You know when you eat/drink a bunch of crap and you feel like you should apologize to your body and only give it organic vegetables for the rest of your life?

I was there.

I mentioned to boyfriend that some fresh juice would be so good and he offered to go to the store and get provisions.....fine by me!

Anyway, today I went through the leftover produce to see what I could throw together, and actually whipped up a really good juice!

3 apples (pretty small. no idea what kind. maybe fuji?)
1 carrot
1 orange
1 lemon

Quite refreshing, if I might say so!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creamy Roasted Tomato, Garlic, and Onion Coconut Soup

I love Oh She Glows.

I'm clearly not vegan, as she is, but there are some legit tasty recipes on there. 

The recipe for this soup looked SO good. A must try. And I'm totally stoked for soup season.

Yield: 6 cups
Roasting vegetables:
  • 5 pounds of roma tomatoes, washed & sliced in half
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled & sliced
  • 2-3 large garlic bulbs, prepared for roasting
  • extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, & pepper, for vegetables

  • 3 cups roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic flesh
  • all of the roasted sweet onion
  • 1 can light coconut milk (reserve 2-3 tbsp for garnish)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (I used low-sodium)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala or make your own
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste (you may have to reduce amt. if you used full-sodium broth)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • for garnish: garlic croutons, coconut milk, pesto, herbs, garam masala, pepper, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line 2 baking sheets with tin foil (note that parchment paper will burn). Grab a small casserole dish to place the garlic in. For how to prepare the garlic, see this tutorial. Lightly drizzle on EVOO onto onions and season onions and tomatoes with S & P. Roast for about 30 minutes and then check on the vegetables. You might have to remove the onions early as they cook the quickest. When the onions are golden and lightly blackened on the edge, you can remove them. Continue roasting the garlic for about 60 minutes or so (check it after 4 5mins), and the tomatoes for about 1 hour and 20 mins. Your oven times will vary though, so keep an eye on them! (I wasn't really sure how "done" tomatoes look. I went by her pic, but her looked way flatter than mine did. I cooked for about an hour and a half)

2. Add 3 cups roasted tomatoes, 2 tbsp roasted garlic flesh, and all the onion into a large pot. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, and broth and stir well.

3. Stir in the seasonings and spices to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

4. Carefully transfer into a blender, processor, or use an immersion blender. Pulse for just a few seconds until chunky. You can also make it smooth, but I liked the texture. Serve immediately and garnish with reserved coconut milk, a sprinkle of garam masala, croutons/bread, and fresh black pepper.

Ok. This was good. It wasn't as mind blowing as I was hoping, though. It sort of tasted like eating a good pasta sauce with a spoon. I think maybe I had too many tomatoes? and the toughened tomato skins from the roasting? Ehhh....about that whole texture thing. I will definitely make this again, and maybe tweak things a little bit. I think there are a lot of variables in play and might have made mine a little different than hers. It was still tasty, though, and I now own garam masala to play with! Smells so good. I'm totally going to make some Indian style chickpeas with it. 

Party on.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagna


You read that right. 

Did your jaw drop open when you read that, like mine did?

Because mine totally did. 

Like whoa. 

People. It's pumpkin season. The bestest of all the seasons. It's time for ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS. I read a blog on Tumblr about a pumpkin shortage on the east coast and I was all "HA! Stupid east coast. They can't get anything right. WEST COAST IS THE BEST COAST, BITCHEZ!!". And then I went and bought every single ingredient for this except the pumpkin and only then found out that there is NO canned pumpkin to be found. None. Zero. Wtf. 

In a time of food crisis, I did what any logical person would do. I called my mother. Ok I called my dad. Whatever. My mother's pantry is the like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter. It possesses just the thing that YOU need. I needed pumpkin. She had it. Epic win. Major perk of working with daddy-o is he gets to be my delivery man for leftovers, random baking experiment goodies, and canned goods. Lucky guy!

So. Let's get to it. 

Recipe is here


  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 16-ounce box lasagna noodles
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I tried non-fat. I'm not a big supporter of non-fat-things-that-are-supposed-to-be-fat things, but it was in the size that I wanted and cheaper. So there. It worked just fine.)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used soy cheese in an attempt to not totally kill my stomach with ALL THA CHEEZ. They didn't have just soy mozzarella, though, so I got a blend.)
  • 1/2 cup shredded romano cheese (There is no soy romano. FYI)
  • 1 large zucchini, very thinly sliced (I used the slicer side of my shredder tower. Perfect.)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkin puree in a fine sieve over a bowl; set aside to drain while you make the sauce.  (Maybe pumpkin puree isn't the same as plain canned pumpkin? I don't know, but my pumpkin wasn't juicy and I don't know what a sieve I skipped this.)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 more minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the tomato sauce and herbs and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook as the label directs. Drain and toss with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. (APPARENTLY I got the no-boil noodles from Trader Joes. Accidental win! I just put them in the dish dry and they turned out great.)

Mix the strained pumpkin puree with the egg in a bowl (gross) and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella and the romano.

Build your lasagna in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (I used an 8x8 dish beeeeecause that's the only dish I own. I attempted to adjust the portions accordingly): Start with a layer of sauce, then top with a layer of noodles. Evenly spread half of the pumpkin filling, then half of the zucchini, over the noodles. Top with half of the cheese mixture and cover with some of the sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with noodles and sauce; sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.

This was GOOD. Good good. I felt like it maybe had too much sausage, because the spicy sausage flavor sort of overpowered the pumpkin flavor. LeGreg suggested just using regular sausage instead of spicy next time. I'll play with it. That's what she said. 

ANYWAY. I, of course, didn't exactly adjust the portions just right, so it was to the brim. The pic on the website is way prettier than mine, natch, but whatever yo. 

Moral of the story is that when canned pumpkin is available again I'm buying 97 cans to secure my spot on Hoarders and making this 100 more times. 

Pumpkin on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I want to grill stuff. Mostly meat. But I can't have a bbq on my apartment balcony, which is probably for the best.

So I bought a grill pan.

Most of the options were non-stick and it seemed like a non-stick grill pan wouldn't give food nice grill marks. Not that I actually really know, but whatever.

I got a cast iron pan because cast iron is bad ass. It's heavy as all hell and is supposed to last 483 years and I can knock the daylights out of a home intruder with it.

So I got and found out how much WORK cast iron involves. I saw that it was pre-seasoned. Pre-seasoned? With, like, all-spice? Oh wait, I have to rub it down with veggie oil before AND after every time I use it? Ugh. So I followed the exact instructions for "before use" and, when it was all dry, it was RUSTY. The hell?

I was pissed.

I was taking that shit back.

I told a woman I work with and she was all "oh yeah, that's normal. That's why you have to oil it down, so it doesn't do that anymore".



Fast forward a month to now, when I finally bought veggie oil and am ready to use the damn thing.

Another coworker gave me some killer looking zucchinis. Perfect.

I sliced one up and let it sit in some balsamic vinaigrette and tossed it on the hot grill.

I brushed on some extra vinaigrette because I'm pretty sure you're supposed to brush stuff on things you're grilling? Right?


End result: SUCCESS. Tasted grilled and was cooked perfectly. Can't wait to actually try meat on it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


My new "thing".

I bought a juicer and am diggin it.

Boyfriend showed me this movie, which I HIGHLY recommend. It was pretty awesome.

On that same website are a few recipes and I've tried 3 so far. This has been my favorite!


1 Apple
2 Beets
3 Large Carrots
1 Piece Ginger (thumb sized)
Spinach / Kale – (optional) (I used spinach)

I'll definitely try more of them out. One thing I've learned is that my juicer is NOT a fan of kale. Cripes, you'd think I threw in a handful of nails.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Green Monster

I stumbled across Oh She Glows somewhere, sometime. I like the concept of "finding your glow again". I just haven't been feeling...GOOD...lately. You know? I saw her mention her green monster smoothies a few times and decided to give it a whirl. I wish I could have a smoothie every morning, but my neighbors would probably be at my door with a pitchfork if I ran my blender on high at 5:30am every day. 

I started with a spiffed up version of her basic smoothie:

  • 2 cups organic spinach
  • 1-1.25 cups milk (your choice of cow’s milk, soy, hemp, almond, rice, etc) (I use almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon flax (optional) (yep, used it. Make sure it's ground up, unless you have a killer blender that will break the seeds)
  • 1 banana
  • ice
Hi there, Are you a Green Monster first-timer? Have no fear! This recipe is fool proof. Even the biggest skeptic will love this one. Place the ingredients into the blender in the following order: 1) Flax (I also added a scoop of "green" powder), 2) spinach, 3) banana, 4) milk. The reason for this order is so the heavier ingredients weigh down the flax and spinach and keep it from flying up around the blender and sticking to the side. Blend everything on the highest setting for 1 minute or so. Finally, add ice (I added a few frozen strawberries and a dollop of almond butter) and blend on the ice setting. Pour into a large, fancy glass. Sit back, gulp it down, and be prepared to have endless energy!

It was actually really good. And really dark green. And really BIG. I was stuffed when I was done. I'm going to try these out for a while and see how it goes....or glows....I'll post pics later today and also what green stuff I used. You know, when I'm actually home and not blogging at work.... :x

Monday, August 1, 2011

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Apparently this is from Down Home With the Neely's. I've never seen the show and I have no idea how I stumbled across this recipe. But stumble I did, and THANK GOD.


  • 2 cups buttermilk (I used the low fat buttermilk from Trader Joe's)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3 pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces, rinsed and patted dry (I used a package of boneless/skinless thighs)
  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (forgot to buy, so didn't use)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (Ok, I just saw this. I did NOT spray with non-stick cooking spray and REALLY wish I had. Not that the result was disastrous or anything, but a whole bunch of the coating stuck to the wire)

Mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add chicken and coat with mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up 12 hours. (I put this crap together at 5am and it sat in the fridge alllllll day until dinner time)

Mix corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and thyme together. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the corn flake-Parmesan mixture, pressing to help it adhere. 

Place on the wire rack-fitted sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp. 

Cook's Note: Remove the skin to save calories. Soaking chicken in buttermilk leaves the chicken incredibly moist with a delicious flavor. 

I wasn't feeling great on Friday, when I made this, so I didn't actually have any. LeGreg took one bite and said "WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO THIS CHICKEN???". It was GOOD. Super good. So moist that he was cutting it with his fork. Other than taking the time to let it sit, it was actually pretty simple and easy to make! Saturday morning he said "I can't wait til lunch, so I can have the rest of that chicken". This, the day after my zucchini bread success!! Look at me go!!

I served the chicken with fried red potatoes with rosemary and a tomato/avocado/italian dressing salad thing. This shall be filed under WIN

Friday, July 29, 2011

Zucchini Bread

LeGreg has a newly planted veggie garden at his place. When I was up last weekend, there was a pile of giant zucchinis on the table and I was told that I wasn't leaving without some. Arm: twisted.

My plan was to make zucchini bread. And it was an epic journey.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (No. Gross)


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.  
So. Here's the thing. I assume that, like my parents kitchen, MY kitchen will ALWAYS be stocked with the essentials. You know, flour, sugar, vanilla, etc. I mean, I've baked like twice before, so I'm sure I'm good and stocked up. 
I was not good and stocked up. 
And I was NOT going back to the effing store. 
Loaf pan? Didn't have. Used an 8x8 glass dish. 
White sugar? Didn't have. Used light brown sugar. 
Veggie oil? Didn't have. Stole some from Nic. (Hey Nic, I stole a cup of oil. SORRY FOR PARTYING). 
Vanilla? Didn't have. Used honey, because it was the only sweet thing I had. Even though vanilla isnt necessarily sweet.  
Baking soda? Didn't have. Didn't use. 
 So I basically didn't have or subbed half the ingredients. Given my track record in the past, the chances of this succeeding was...0%. But I was already balls deep and committed, so I continued on.
I thought that maybe it would cook faster, since it was shallower, so I set the timer for 45 mins. 45 mins later it was a dark wobbly mess. Ok, this isn't going well. I set the timer for another 15 mins. Stuck a knife in and it was covered in goo. About 30 mins LATER, the knife was finally clean! Cripes! 
I tasted a little bite when it cooled....and it was GOOD! Miracles happen, people. And they taste so good. It even has a nice crunchy crust along the top. I think that's from the brown sugar.
 I brought some in for "team food" at work, and it got a resounding THUMBS UP. 
I should just stop now, while I'm ahead.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spinach and White Bean Dip

Another dip from that Real Simple article!!


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • clove garlic
  • 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs (...I used dried. SO KILL ME)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • crostini, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil with the garlic over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes; let cool.
  2. In a food processor, combine the garlic oil, beans, spinach, dill, and lemon juice. Season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and puree until smooth. Serve with the crostini. 
Ok. This dip. SO GOOD. And really? Pretty healthy!! Took just a few mins. I ate mine with some flax tortilla chip things I had from Trader Joes, rather than crostini. Bottom line? SUCCESS!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Real Simple had a page of super easy dips in their July 2011 issue, and this was in there. Real Simple? Easily one of the best mags ever. Thank God LeGreg's mom subscribes so I can scour every issue and take notes. 


  • 4 ounces crumbled Feta
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (next time I'm just going to use the oil from the tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained (I got the herby kind from Trader Joe's)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • pretzel crisps, for serving (or whatever. I used some other crack type thing)


  1. In a medium bowl, mash together the Feta, yogurt, and oil until mostly smooth. Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Serve with the pretzel crisps. 

Dudes. After chopping up the tomatoes (could prob use a food processor if you're fancy and have one), this took like 8 secs to make. It was SUPER tasty and I will fo sho be busting it out again. Not too often for myself, with the whole lactose intolerance thingy, but it might end up being my signature "bring an appetizer" thing. I haven't tried any other dips yet from that feature, but I'm definitely gonna. Woot!

(Pic from the Real Simple site, by Tom Schierlitz)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bourbon Slushie

The gift that keeps giving! (Bee tee dubs-go read the rest of her blog. One of my ultimate favorites.)

I made this at Christmas, so this is a mere 6 months late. What are you gonna do, ya know?

I can't WAIT for the weather to warm up to drink this all the damn time this summer.

1 can frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
1 can frozen Lemonade Concentrate
7 cups strong brewed Black Tea (3-4 bags)
Fifth of
Bourbon Whiskey
2 liter of Sprite (Can also use 7Up, Ginger Ale, or Sierra Mist…gag)

1. Boil water and steep tea until strong (about 20 minutes)
2. In a freezer safe, sealable bowl, mix tea, all the juices (DO NOT ADD WATER), and bourbon whiskey.
3. Freeze overnight.
4. Before serving, mash it up a bit to get desired slush-like consistency.
5. Scoop desired amount of slush into glasses, and top off with Sprite.

I wish you all a wonderful and safe holiday season!

P.S. The bourbon can be completely substituted for RUM. The rum slushie is the bourbon slushie’s way sluttier cousin.

(allll of the bold is straight from her site).

Mixing the brown bourbon and the orange/yellow juices didn't exactly yield a beautiful drink. But who the EFF CARES.

It tastes like fairies. Dancing drunk fairies in poofy sparkly skirts. I basically didn't stop drinking it until it was gone. All night? Yes, please. Mimosa for brekky? Nah. Bourbon slushie, thx. Close enough.

It's delicious and The Barefoot Foodie herself... 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pesto Orecchiette With Chicken Sausage

Found in Real Simple.

Two things made me need this recipe in my life. First, I love weird shaped pasta. Spongebob mac and cheese? Hell yes. Weird little circle things? I'm in. Second, I'll eat damn near anything with pesto on it. I wanted to add asparagus to it, but that crap is like $4/bundle right now!! Eff that.


  • 12 ounces orecchiette (like little discs)
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used frozen ones from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto (I used the jarred pesto from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). 

Ok, that pic looks kinda gross. Mostly because my green bowl blends in the green sauce and is all kinds of tacky 70's-y. I assure you, however, that it's REALLY REALLY GOOD! Super good. I think you could put broccoli or asparagus or other green things in it. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cheat Sauce

I didnt take pictures, but I was pretty impressed with how my spaghetti sauce came out last night. You know I like cramming veggies in anything and everything. Last night I sauteed up one chopped (big ol chunks) red bell pepper and one zucchini until both were soft. I threw those in a blender with one small can of diced tomatoes. Blended it for like 5 seconds (basically just until the blender sucked down all veggies. I wanted it chunky). Served over angel hair. Done. In immediate retrospect, I should have thrown a ton of garlic in there. I was starving and in a time crunch, so I'll save that for next time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Split Pea Soup

Two weekends ago, I was at LeGreg's house and his parents were gone for the weekend. His mom usually cooks a lot, so that left us on our for food. He cooked all 3 dinners. Just whipped them up from whatever was laying around. And it was all deelish.

Fast forward to this weekend: he's coming down here. I want to cook for him. I take all effing week to plan ONE dinner. Picking it out, shopping, all that. Cripes. I do NOT win at cooking.

While babysitting on tuesday, I was going through a Barefoot Contessa cookbook that they had. I've heard her name a million times, but I've never seen any of her shows or anything. I came across this recipe for split pea soup. It caught my attention because of the short/easy ingredient list. I always assumed that split pea soup had a ham hock or something weird like that in it. Sold!


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup medium-diced red boiling , unpeeled (3 small)
  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water (I always use low sodium. Plenty of flavor.)
  • (I also added one of those thick slices of ham, diced. Split pea soup needs ham, RIGHT??)


In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft (here is where I added my ham, too). Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Until close to the end, I was worried that the peas weren't going to get mushy. Split pea soup must be MUSHY, damn it!! But it did. And holy balls the flavor! It tastes nice and smoky and the carrots and potatoes make it really hearty. Maybe the bestest part? WAY cheap. I made it tonight, thinking that maybe it'll be even better if it sits for a day before I the boy has to pretend that he loves it. We'll see!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Healthifying Tacos

I'm not smart enough to NOT over-eat. I AM smart enough, however, to try to make the best of it. Usually. Today I was craaaaaaving beef stroganoff. You know what beef stroganoff has in it? Sour cream. Effing lactose intolerance. Next up: tacos. Like I said, I knew I was going to shove copious amounts of food in my face. My trick is to try to cram veggies in my food to a)take up space and b) add vitamins and that crap. SO. Here are my healthier tacos:

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 package of taco seasoning
1/2 red bell pepper (should have used the whole thing)
1 small (really small. Like, was maybe a shallot) yellow onion
3 giant handfuls of spinach

Swirl some olive oil in a pan (I used my electric skillet). On med heat, cook the onions and peppers until onions are translucent. Add about a quarter cup of water, then the turkey. Sprinkle the taco mix on top of it (to make it even healthier, use less mix). When the turkey is almost done, toss in your spinach. Remember that it cooks down a LOT and cooks really fast. Spinach and broccoli and other "tough" greens are actually better for you when they're cooked, so eat up!

I served on "handmade" tortillas with soy cheese.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lentil Salad

I've been craving lentils lately. Don't ask why, because I have NO idea. Lo-and-behold, this recipe plopped itself in my lap today! I only had to buy a couple ingredients, so I was sold!


1 pound (about 3 cups) dried lentils. This recipe works best with whole light brown lentils. (I went to Whole Foods so that I could get these in the bulk section. They only had green lentils. Meh, worked out ok)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 scallions, sliced in fine rounded pieces. This means little circles, my little geniuses.

4 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper… freshly ground for overachievers

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup well packed minced parsley


  1. Put the lentils and about 5 1/2 cups of water in a 4 quart pot with the cumin and about half the salt.
  2. Bring everything to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for about 25 minutes (mine took a little longer, probably because I used the wrong kind of lentils). Remove the cover, make sure that most of the water has boiled off (eh...also a lot of water left over. Also probably due to the wrong lentils), and that the lentils are softened (key!). Remove them from heat and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining salt, lemon juice, black pepper, olive oil, parsley and scallions.
  4. One the lentils are lukewarm, pour the mixture in #3 over them and SLOWLY combine everything. If you stir to vigorously, you risk end up with a delicious, yet unappetizing mushy mess.
  5. Feel free to improvise by adding split cherry tomatoes, finely diced celery, or shredded carrot.
  6. You can serve immediately OR refrigerate for for several hours before serving. It really depends on whether you want to use it as a salad or a side dish. If you serve it as a salad, you can serve it over a bed of California greens or baby spinach.
I opted for the spinach salad version. LEGIT. I freaking LOVE the cumin/lemon combo. Love. It. I did put carrots in mine, but didn't have any celery or tomatoes. This seems like one of those recipes that you could just load the veggies into. I've got some experimenting to do...

Monday, January 24, 2011


I just got a new blender, y'all!!! Yes, it's pink. No, that was not my preferred color. But we all know that I'm a huge giant sucker for a good sale.

Due to a lovely spout with reeeeeally bad TMJ lately, it came at a great time. Soups and smoothies are about to rule my life! I made a smoothie for dinner tonight, out of pure excitement. Might whip up some carrot soup a little later.

My take on smoothies:

-Fruit+fruit juice=a TON of sugar.

-Smoothies need not be huge Jamba Juiced sized. Seriously. Yes, fruit has a ton of vitamins and even though it's "natural" sugar, it also has a ton of sugar and SUGAR IS SUGAR. Your smoothie really shouldn't be more than about a cup. Edit: not more than a cup of fruit, I should say. I just added a bunch of extra almond milk and a hand full of spinach to my regular small smoothie and it got HUGE!

-instead of juice, try kefir, almond/soy milk, milk, or sub half the juice with yogurt. Really try to cut the sugar out by not using juice. If you're going to use juice at all (like, at all IN YOUR LIFE), try to get it as close to it's natural state as possible. Apple juice from concentrate? Pretty much just straight sugar.

-Add stuff!! I like adding almonds. Little protein and makes it more filling. Maybe add some dry oatmeal for fiber, or protein powder, or "green" powder, tofu for protein. You can disguise the taste of all kinds of good-for-you crap in smoothies.

-My trick I picked up working at a cafe place that had smoothies: take a cup the size of the smoothie you want. Fill it with the frozen fruit. THEN fill it with whatever liquid you're using until it just tops the fruit. The fruit/liquid ratio is pretty spot on that way. Not too thick, not too runny.

I'm considering playing with veggie drinks at some point next...sounds like it has the potential of being gross, though...we'll see.

Edit: I came across this last night. Almond butter! Of COURSE!! I love almond butter. It's a little pricey but SO good and totally better for you than peanut butter. I made that recipe with almond milk (super low calorie and nice nutty flavor) and mixed berries (on sale for $7 for a giant bag at Target). KEEPER. I could totally taste the almond butter. I usually just put whole almond in it. I like the crunchiness of that, but the almond butter flavor is a lot stronger. I'm sure my neighbors love hearing my blender scream at 6am every day now. Sorry for partying.

Edit pt2: Added a big handfull of fresh spinach to the smoothie just above. Can't even taste it! At all! Killer way to sneak in greens. For big people AND little people!

Edit pt 3: To mix things up (I love trying to fix things that aren't broken, apparently), I bought a carton of the SoDelicious non-sweetened coconut milk (like a milk carton, got it at Target). It's low calorie and I thought maybe it would add a naturally sweet coconut-y flair. IT DOESN'T. It's gross. It's almost...bitter. And yucks up the taste of the whole smoothie. Stick to almond milk, people. Trust.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quinoa with Green Olives and Red Onions

This is from, shocking, the Isabel's Cantina cookbook (link to the right). I gave that cookbook to 4 different people for Christmas. Should have given it to everyone! Love it.

(Serves 4 to 6)
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 med red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (omg never go grocery shopping on Sunday night. Bare shelves! Couldnt find red, so I used yellow. Seems to have worked out pretty well).
3/4 cup green olives, halved and pitted (blech. Do not like, so I left them out)
3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons, I used 1)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the quinoa in a medium sauce pan and cover with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers. Cover and cook until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 10 to 15 mins. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and pepper, and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 mins, then add the bell pepper. Continue cooking until the bell pepper has softened, about 3 mins. Add the aolives, stirring well to combine, and cook for 1 more min.

Stir the sauteed vegetables into the quinoa. Add the lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the cumin, and cilantro. Toss well to combine. Serve the quinoa warm, at room temperature, or cold. The quinoa can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Pretty simple! I love the cumin and lemon flavors. Quinoa is uber healthy, so dish up!